2019 U.S. National Championships: Day 2 Finals Live Recap


The 2019 U.S. National Championships continues tonight in Palo Alto, CA. Day 2 finals will see swimmers compete for individual titles in the 200 free, 200 breast, and 200 back. We’ll also see finals of the women’s 4×100 free relay. Keep in mind that swimmers are also racing to be ranked among the top 6 Americans in order to qualify for the 2019-2020 U.S. National Team (relay leadoffs do not count).

We’ll see several 2019 or former Worlds team members and Olympians racing tonight. Madisyn Cox, a 2017 Worlds medalist, is the top seed for tonight’s 200 breast. Teenage phenom Claire Tuggle headlines the women’s 200 free, but Worlds team member and Olympic Champion Allison Schmitt is also in the mix. Kieran Smith mad a big drop this morning to lead the men coming out of prelims. Maxime Rooney and Dean Farris, who had big swim in the 100 free yesterday, will challenge, as well as Australia’s Elijah Winnington. Read on for real-time updates of tonight’s races.


  • World Record: Federica Pellegrini (Italy), 1:52.98, 2009
  • American Record: Allison Schmitt, 1:53.61, 2012
  • Championship Record: Allison Schmitt (United States), 1:54.40, 2012
  • U.S. Open Record: Allison Schmitt (United States), 1:54.40, 2012
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:01.69


  1. GOLD: Allison Schmitt (SUN), 1:56.97
  2. SILVER: Paige Madden (CMSA), 1:57.84
  3. BRONZE: Brooke Forde (ALTO), 1:57.98

Fresh off the trip to Worlds, Allison Schmitt has returned to racing this week to compete for a spot on next year’s national team. In winning the event tonight with a 1:56.97, Schmitt successfully earned a top 6 ranking among Americans. This was her season best time, faster than she swam at Worlds, and now ranks her 3rd among the U.S. women in 2019.

Paige Madden held off Brooke Forde, another Worlds team member, down the stretch, touching in 1:57.84 to Forde’s 1:57.98. That was the first time under 1:58 for both swimmers. Claire Tuggle was in 4th at the final turn, but faded to 6th on the final 50 with a 1:59.42. Finishing 4th was 2016 Olympian Cierra Runge with a 1:58.82.

The 4th fastest time of the A and B heats, however, came from Emma Weyant, who crushed her best to win the B heat in 1:58.36. Weyant had never broken 2:00 before tonight. Her former best was a 2:01.08 from this morning and she’s now dropped over 3 seconds throughout the day.


  • World Record: Paul Biedermann (Germany), 1:42.00, 2009
  • American Record: Michael Phelps, 1:42.96, 2009
  • Championship Record: Michael Phelps (United States), 1:44.10, 2008
  • U.S. Open Record: Michael Phelps (United States), 1:44.10, 2008
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 1:50.79


  1. GOLD: Elijah Winnington (AUS), 1:46.19
  2. SILVER: Kieran Smith (RAC), 1:46.25
  3. BRONZE: Dean Farris (HARV), 1:46.45

It was a close battle to the finish between out top 3. Dean Farris led the way into the turn, but Australian Elijah Winnington and Kieran Smith ran him down on the final 50. Winnington clipped Smith by hundredths, 1:46.19 to 1:46.25. Both men were just a few hundredths shy of their best times. Farris held on for 3rd in 1:46.45, which lowers his lifetime best by over a second.

Maxime Rooney, who won the national title in this race as an age group swimmer in 2015, finally had a breakthrough here. Rooney hadn’t swum his best time in this event since that 2015 final. Tonight, he cleared 1:47 for the first time, touching 4th in 1:46.76. Patrick Callan rounded out the top 5 with a lifetime best 1:47.36. Zane Grothe, who just returned from Worlds to compete here this week, was 8th with a 1:49.62.

Junior star Luca Urlando had the 4th fastest time of the night with a 1:46.54 to win the B heat. That was his lifetime best by a second. Urlando, Rooney, Farris, and Smith are all ranked among the American top 6 as of now. Smith cemented his #1 spot with his prelims time.


  • World Record: Rikke Pedersen (Denmark), 2:19.11, 2013
  • American Record: Rebecca Soni, 2:19.59, 2012
  • Championship Record: Rebecca Soni (United States), 2:20.38, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: Rebecca Soni (United States), 2:20.38, 2009
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:33.29


  1. GOLD: Madisyn Cox (TXLA), 2:23.84
  2. SILVER: Abby Arens (MOR), 2:25.80
  3. BRONZE: Jenna Strauch (VICN), 2:26.05

World Championships medalist Madisyn Cox dominated this one. Cox crushed her lifetime best by nearly 2 seconds, winning by over a body length in 2:23.84. Cox is now ranked #4 among Americans this year and posted a time that would have been fast enough to make finals at Worlds last week.

Abby Arens took over a second off her best to touch 2nd in 2:25.80, a nail ahead of Jenna Strauch (2:26.05). Arens has now dropped almost 4 seconds from her best coming into this meet. Closely behind for 4th was Miranda Tucker in 2:26.50. Vanessa Pearl was the 2nd fastest swimmer of the night, however, touching in 2:24.99 to win the B final.


  • World Record: Anton Chupkov (Russia), 2:06.12, 2019
  • American Record: Josh Prenot, 2:07.17, 2016
  • Championship Record: Josh Prenot (United States), 2:07.17, 2016
  • U.S. Open Record: Josh Prenot (United States), 2:07.17, 2016
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:17.89


  1. GOLD: Reece Whitley (CAL), 2:09.69
  2. SILVER: Daniel Roy (ALTO), 2:10.01
  3. BRONZE: Joshua Matheny (PEAQ), 2:11.02

Reece Whitley and Daniel Roy have been battling in this race since they were age group swimmers. Roy had the edge going into the final turn, but Whitley kicked it into gear to win this one, breaking 2:10 for the first time in 2:09.69. Roy wound up 2nd in 2:10.01. That makes Whitley the #6 American this year, while Roy is ranked #5 with his season-best 2:09.50.

Joshua Matheny rounded out the top 3 with a lifetime best 2:11.02, breaking the 15-16 National Age Group Record formerly held by Whitley. From the B final, Jake Foster was slightly faster with the 3rd fastest time of the night in 2:11.01. Foster lowered his best by over a second and a half.


  • World Record: Regan Smith (United States), 2019, 2:03.35
  • World Junior Record: Regan Smith (United States), 2019, 2:03.35
  • Championship Record: Missy Franklin (United States), 2:05.68, 2013
  • U.S. Open Record: Missy Franklin, 2:05.68 (United States), 2013
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:14.69


  1. GOLD: Asia Seidt (KYA), 2:08.90
  2. (TIE) SILVER: Emma Seiberlich (CAV), 2:10.86
  3. (TIE) SILVER: Erin Voss (ALTO), 2:10.86

Asia Seidt topped the field by nearly 2 seconds, touching in 2:08.90 for the win. Seidt is currently ranked 5th among Americans in 2019 with her 2:08.50 from the World University Games this summer. Behind her, Emma Seiberlich came from behind to tie Erin Voss for 2nd place in 2:10.86.

Rye Ulett is now the 3rd fastest 13-14 American ever in this event, putting up a 2:09.70 to win the B heat with the 2nd fastest time of the night. Ulett has now dropped over 3 seconds from her time today. 15-year-old Claire Curzan dropped 2 seconds behind her with a 2:10.16.


  • World Record: Aaron Peirsol (United States), 1:51.92, 2009
  • American Record: Aaron Peirsol, 1:51.92, 2009
  • Championship Record: Aaron Peirsol (United States), 1:53.08, 2009
  • U.S. Open Record: Aaron Peirsol (United States), 1:53.08, 2009
  • Olympic Trials Cut: 2:02.99


  1. GOLD: Austin Katz (TXLA), 1:55.72
  2. SILVER: Shaine Casas (AGS), 1:55.79
  3. BRONZE: Clark Beach (QSTS), 1:57.14

Austin Katz appeared to slip on the start, but still led by the halfway point. Shaine Casas then took over the lead on the 3rd 50, but Katz bounced back again to edge him out at the touch. Katz won in 1:55.72, while Casas was hundredths behind in 1:55.79. That was Casas’ first time under 1:57 and nearly a best time for Katz. They’re now ranked #2 and #3 among Americans this year, however, Katz’s season best is a 1:55.57 from WUGs.

Clark Beach came in 3rd with a 1:57.14, just hundredths shy of his best. Beach is also among the American top 6. He clipped his season best from WUGs by a hundredth. Bryce Mefford is the #6 in the rankings with his 1:57.39 to finish 4th in the final. Great Britain’s Brodie Williams turned in a 1:57.16 to win the B final.


  • World Record: Australia, 2018, 3:30.05
  • American Record: USA, 2019, 3:31.02
  • U.S. Open Record: USA, 2010, 3:35.11


  1. GOLD: Victoria (New South Wales), 3:41.43
  2. SILVER: Tennessee Aquatics, 3:42.29
  3. BRONZE: Wisconsin Aquatics, 3:44.15

The squad from Victoria took the final win of the night. Kotuku Ngawati got them started with a 55.22 leadoff. Tennessee’s Erika Brown surged ahead for her team on the 2nd leg with a 53.79 split. Victoria took the lead back again, however, as Julia Hawkins rolled to a 54.79 on the 3rd leg. Kayla Costa then anchored them to victory with a 56.29 split en route to a 3:41.43.

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Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

Very slow women’s 200 free. Weak event right now in USA. If KL choses to drop that event next year, and it would be smart, I don’t see who can medal among Americans. And even who can make a final. Cool for Allison Schmitt to win another US title. It was great to see Claire Tuggle show very promising things in prelims but unfortunately she was much slower in final (swimswam photo curse?). Big time drop for Emma Weyant.
The men’s 200 free was a disaster for USA at worlds. And it’s tough to imagine an olympic medal for Americans next year. But at least, unlike women, there’s a lot of young swimmers who push and are close to… Read more »

Bobo Gigi
3 years ago

It’s Claire Tuggle on the photo above in that live recap of day 2 finals.
And it didn’t go very well in the final compared to her prelims.
I remember reading a few times there was a rumor of curse for the swimmers chosen in those photos…. 😆

3 years ago

Should say Victoria (Australia). Victoria is a state in its own right not a city of NSW 🙂

Reply to  Kelsey
3 years ago

Contending with IUPUI for the most confusing name

3 years ago

so… anyone else see the clearly visible dolphin kick into the wall at the end of the men’s 2breast race?

3 years ago

Off topic but at the World Cup Prelims – Pebley went 1:56.8 in the 200 back and Murphy went 52.13 in the 100 FLY
Pieroni went 4:03.8 in the 400 Free 🙁 and 55.14 in the 100 Fly
Michael Andrew 52.24 in the 100 Fly.
Harting 52.65
Seliskar 51.43 !! just off season best of 51.40 in prelims

Reply to  SeanSwim
3 years ago

Pebs, Murph, Pieroni, and Harting should all race a 200 Breast.

Reply to  swimmerTX
3 years ago

I’d like to see Seliskar do the 100 or 200 Breast at one of the World Cup meets, was so good in yards (mainly due to pullouts)

Reply to  swimmerTX
3 years ago

And all would be faster than MA

3 years ago

It seems to me that 16yr old Josh Matheny broke NAG for 15-16 on 200br. Jake Foster was definitely slower than Reece’s 2:09+ NAG for 17-18

Reply to  Lauren Neidigh
3 years ago

Yes, 2:09 is Roy’s 17-18 NAG. My bad there 🙂

3 years ago

It’s interesting that the selection procedure is based off of placement and not overall time, just food for thought

3 years ago

Austin definitely audited a few classes at The Townley Haas School of Media Relations

Jay Ryan
Reply to  Hmm....
3 years ago

Yes, very insightful interview! Austin, like Townley, is a true poet.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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